San Francisco SPCA Condemns Animal Killings in San Francisco Art Institute Exhibition

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San Francisco SPCA President Jan McHugh-Smith today condemned the content of a current exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute, describing it as barbaric and depraved. The exhibit, "Don't Trust Me," is the work of Paris-based Adel Abdessemed, and includes videos of six animals - a pig, goat, doe, ox, horse and sheep - being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer.

It is a standard that I believe the large majority of San Franciscans wish to uphold.

San Francisco SPCA President Jan McHugh-Smith today condemned the content of a current exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute, describing it as barbaric and depraved. The exhibit, "Don't Trust Me," is the work of Paris-based Adel Abdessemed, and includes videos of six animals - a pig, goat, doe, ox, horse and sheep - being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer.

McHugh-Smith called on the San Francisco Art Institute and the exhibition's sponsors to withdraw their support for the exhibit, and expressed her astonishment at their endorsement of it. "This type of work, masquerading as art, degrades the reputation of everyone associated with it," she stated. "There is no artistic merit in cruelty to, and suffering of, living creatures. Nor is there any social or cultural message so imperative that it warrants such gratuitous brutality and callousness. This shameful exhibit calls into question the humanity of the 'artist'."

McHugh-Smith pointed out the well-documented connection between animal cruelty and acts of violence towards people. Surveys have shown that a large number of individuals incarcerated for violent crimes had also abused animals, and one survey of pet-owning families with confirmed cases of child abuse found that animals were also abused in 88 percent of these homes.

"In 2007, the San Francisco Metropolitan area was named the most humane city in the nation by the Humane Society of the United States," McHugh-Smith noted. "It is a standard that I believe the large majority of San Franciscans wish to uphold."    

About The San Francisco SPCA
The San Francisco SPCA is a private, independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving and protecting homeless dogs and cats, to providing them with care and treatment, advocating for animal welfare, and enhancing the human-animal bond. Founded in 1868, The SF/SPCA is a national leader in saving the lives of companion animals through its pioneering programs. For more information visit http://www.sfspca.org.

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KRISTEN GREEN
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